|Rain, rain go away..|
This week was a comfort food extravaganza! It's been cold, rainy, snowy, windy and brisk sunshine here in Sequim. I'm ready for Spring to come and it seems almost here sometimes, for a brief moment. Until then, I'll comfort myself with some old and new favorite recipes to feel warm from the inside out.
My first comfort soup is Chicken Soup from scratch but with a slight twist. I REALLY like the Greek Avelgolemono soup with lots of chicken, garlic and lemon with rice but my husband thinks I'm trying to poison him every time I use "excessive" amounts of lemon in our food. In his realm of tastes, excessive lemon=anything beyond a hint. So the culinary compromise of using the inspiration of the Greek soup but with only one lemon.
|veggie and chicken carcass strained from stock|
To start, I made chicken stock with my gallon Ziploc frozen veggie stash in my freezer and a frozen chicken carcass. I place these items in my heavy bottomed stock pot (probably a 3 gallon size), and cover with water. This brew boils gently for at least an hour without a lid or if your time allows, cover after an hour and go for up to 2 hours. Strain veggies and carcass off in a large bowl and place the broth back in the same stock pot to finish.
|Strained chicken stock with one lemon|
|Add 3 Tablespoons of garlic powder|
|3 stems each fresh oregano and parsley|
Stir the golden elixir occasionally so that the rice doesn't stick to the floor of the stock pot and cover. The fluffy, delicate jasmine rice will take about a half hour to cook to tender perfection.
|A sliver of sunshine to savor|
|4 cups of Green lentils|
|Lentils are added to 1 qt chicken stock and 1 smoked ham hock & 2 bay leaves|
|Pardon the picture taken while tossing the sautéed veggies...I get motion sickness|
|Add the sautéed veggies to the lentils, stock and cook on medium heat|
|A green lentil pilaf with smoked ham|
Voila! Something new for us emerges from familiar flavors. My husband missed the "broth" from the split pea soup but enjoyed trying the lentils. My son LOVED the "YUMMY ham bits"! I enjoyed both the lentils and the experience of trying something new with my family.
|Another storm passes|
Now for dessert...
|A new cold day treat|
For another cold weather treat, I baked Ginger snap cookies. They were sweet and a little spicy with the fresh ginger, crispy exterior with tender centers. We gobbled them up! I baked a second batch the following day.
|Red skies in the morning...|
More storms coming our way, it's still winter after all. More comfort food to make! The warm refuge and creativity of the kitchen inspire me during the winter months. I love to take a memory and bring it to life in a meal, to warm their stomachs and souls. Or introduce a new food item in a familiar context.
Here's to finding comfort in the storms my friends, winter or not. My kitchen and mind will remain busy, serving up luxurious warmth. Bring on the storms of winter...it's all good!
Chow for now my friends!